Pressure Printing – CFPR, UWE Bristol

by Angela

This post is long overdue!  I did this course in July of this year, I posted the photos on Flickr and never got round to writing about it.

Here is a description from the UWE Website:

“Stratography or Pressure Printing is an innovative and experimental technique that uses a flexible plate attached to the cylinder of the press underneath the printing paper and is run through the press over an inked block. The pressure from the low-relief collage displaces the ink and produces beautiful, delicate, soft-edged qualities, not usually associated with relief printing techniques.”

1. So first we inked the rollers.

The course was led by the Lovely Angie Butler  seen in the above photo poised at the wonderful Vandercook Press. On the press is MDF with a piece of clear acrylic on top – this will be inked up.

2. Rollers Inked up Vandercook Press


3. Then turn the handle to ink the block underneath.

4. Block inked up – the block is Type High.

5. Sheet of Acetate placed over the rollers of the press and inked up for registration.

6. Acetate Inked up

7. Registration

8. Registration marks on plate.

In this case the plate is a piece of paper with some paper cut up to make a pattern. It looks really basic but the result is beautiful.

9. Putting the plate directly on to the rollers – using acetate for registration.

So the plate is placed directly on the rollers. The paper is then placed on top of this  – rolled over the ink block – picks up the ink from the block underneath and takes the impression from the plate.

If you look at picture 5 where the acetate is put on – the paper is placed in the same position – under the metal clips – and then you roll the press.

Finished Print

So here is my plate – surprise, surprise its a feather 🙂

We weren’t too sure how this would turn out because it had not been tried before. I attached it to the acetate with PVA which was little tricky.

Very pleased with the result. Angie was very surprised at the fine detail picked up by the feather. As always it was a really enjoyable course at UWE, great tutor with a lot of patience, extremely knowledgeable and excellent facilities. I would thoroughly recommend it.

One thing I really like about the process is – for every print you take the ink gets more and more faded. At the end you are left with an impression on the block of your image.

You can then remove the plate and take a print from the block alone which gives a lovely subtle affect below. – a Ghost Print.

2015 courses  have not been all published yet but I am sure I will be back again. I’ve been going there since 2006 and have managed to do a course almost every year.  There is a running joke that they’ve run out of courses for me to do.

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Elephant's Child 2nd November 2014 - 10:45 pm

How clever.
And I love, love, love your feather print – in all of the incarnations you showed.

Angela 2nd November 2014 - 10:48 pm

Thank you Elephants child. Haven't spoken to you or visited your blog for a while. Hope you are well 🙂

Amanda 3rd November 2014 - 7:17 am

Fascinating! I had no idea how these prints were done. And that last print is sublime!

dinahmow 3rd November 2014 - 7:19 am

Gee, Ange, you were lucky not getting PVA between the barbs! I think I need to do some printing…(Apart from the dirty footprints on the floor!)

Angela 3rd November 2014 - 6:06 pm

Thanks Amanda. What I also like about the process is that the last one – taken from the ghost image on the block is a one off. Once you've printed it that's it.

Angela 3rd November 2014 - 6:12 pm

I've never thought of footprints as an actual print process but when you think about it, it is. Maybe you're on to something Di? Now if you can come up with the arty BS to go with it you're away! Something like "challenging people's perceptions of blah blah etc." Turner Prize here you come!


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